pexels-judit-peter-1766604(2)(1)

PR Versus Content Marketing: Putting Your Budgets to Work

Most marketers are struggling under pressure to outperform, even as they navigate budget cuts. They’re unable to hire more people, but are expected to produce more content and media coverage than ever before. From conversations with clients, it’s clear that allocating budgets strategically is crucial, and that one wrong move can prove costly. One marketer, for example, was forced to ditch their SEO budget in favour of a splashy, one-off event, that we’re not sure generated the expected results. 

Public relations (PR) and content marketing offer distinct value propositions – but work best when brands take an integrated approach. While PR focuses on earned media and reputation, content marketing revolves around creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and retain your target audience. However, neither can be done in a silo. But understanding the strengths and limitations of each approach will help you better allocate resources for your specific goals. 

If you’re torn about how to spend your budget, consider doing these four things:

Research matters: Before diving headfirst into a full blown marketing strategy, take the time to conduct thorough research. Many brands skip this crucial step, because of historic bias or assumptions they’re making about their target audience. 

By understanding your potential customers’ needs, interests, and preferences, you can tailor your messaging and positioning to resonate more effectively. Research can also uncover data that validates your communication plans and identifies new opportunities for growth. Ultimately, investing time in research can lead to more informed decision-making and a stronger, more impactful marketing strategy.

Align your objectives to outcomes: Many businesses are tempted to be all things to everyone. Often, this means being everywhere, churning out content that most people aren’t even going to see. While there’s no magical number to content and coverage cadence, the key is to ensure you’re creating high-value content on a regular basis across key distribution channels. 

To get started, identify your primary goal and allocate budgets and efforts accordingly. For example, if your goal is to gain greater visibility and reach a broader audience, consider a well thought-out public relations campaign, and use coverage to create pieces of content on your LinkedIn and website. But if it is leads you are after, then focus your efforts on creating more blog content, email marketing, case studies, ebooks, and so on. Regardless of how you’re splitting your efforts, we recommend repurposing content and tailoring it to fit the channels of your choice. 

Measuring performance and ROI: It’s crucial to set clear goals and track how your PR and content marketing efforts are doing. This means deciding what success looks like for you, whether it’s getting mentioned in the media, driving more people to your website, or generating leads. By regularly checking your performance data, like how many times your brand is mentioned in articles or how many visitors your website gets, you can see what’s working and what’s not. For instance, if you’re running a content marketing campaign, you might measure success by tracking how many leads it generates through downloads of a gated ebook. This helps you understand where to focus your resources and proves the value of your marketing efforts.

Embracing innovation: When used well, generative AI can help businesses preserve budgets. For instance, with the right prompts, it can quickly assist in pulling together a first draft of a press release or the structure of a blog. Marketers, however, still need to do the heavy lifting when it comes to campaign ideation and original storytelling. 

The arrival of transformative technology can be challenging and confusing. Overall, human connection remains important for communications professionals as no AI solution can conceive stories, liaise, pitch, and land coverage with the media in quite the same way. 

If you’re looking for an agency that can make your budgets work harder, write to us: [email protected]

Tags: No tags